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New General Market: Panelists identify their driving forces

The reason behind companies bringing their products to market can be critical to how they go about selling them. That’s according to executives from leading CPG companies who participated in the “What’s Your Why?” panel at the recent New General Market Purpose-Driven Summit, which was moderated by Mack Elevation founder Dan Mack.

For Oak Brook, Ill.-based Blistex, purpose starts with empathy and understanding, according to vice president of sales Kevin Brunory, who said the company’s headquarters share a site with its manufacturing plant. This means employees can stay better connected to the purpose behind what they’re doing — in turn driving Blistex to better connect with its consumers.

“The empathy that we can have for our workers by walking the lines and understanding what matters is the same kind of empathy that we have when we try to do research about our consumers to understand our product categories,” Brunory said. “This can ensure that purpose is clear.”

The need to understand what consumers want from companies is a strategy that Jennifer Holahan, New York City-based Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s senior director of shopper and category insights to activation, said drives the company, as well.

While the company’s strategy starts with its individual brands, that strategy is driven by the question of what the brands can do for the consumers.

“We really do believe that we offer much more than just a solution to a problem — that we offer confidence to help you take control of your health and your life,” Holahan said, noting that. Part of doing so is being a resource for shoppers.

She noted that mobile searches from consumers seeking the “best” product in a given category have increased 80% in the last two years, and Pfizer seeks to be a resource in navigating the aisles alongside its retail partners. “We focus on empowering people to take health and wellness into their own hands,” Holahan said.

Caroline Dusel, brand manager of social, digital and influencer marketing at Conair’s hair brushes and accessories division, said that empowerment also is what drives Conair. She said that the motivating force behind the East Windsor Township, N.J.-based company’s products and innovation is its passion for its consumers.

Dusel said that the role Conair products play in people’s lives — from job interviews and weddings to first days of school — is what drives the company to create products that will fit the occasion.

“Conair realizes that the modern American family is constantly changing. And we pride ourselves on being there to change with them,” “Our goal is to empower them to purchase products that seamlessly integrate into the different facets of their lives.”

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble’s Shannon Meglio, innovation manager of digital strategy and analytics, said that her company focuses heavily on purpose, values and principles in three areas — social responsibility, sustainability and an omni-digital approach. She highlighted the company’s “Like a Girl” campaign from its Always brand as an example of its efforts to build confidence in young women.

She also noted a sustainability partnership between Head & Shoulders and TerraCycle, through which the brand brings to shelves products made of recycled beach plastic and works toward P&G’s Ambition 2030 goal of having 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2030.

In the same way that companies marry their purpose to action in their communities, in-store, as P&G’s Meglio said, they aim to align their causes with those of retailers.

“The core is really our retailer partnerships,” she said. “We are so lucky to have retailer partners with values that align so closely to ours, and we work with them to deliver our brands, but also to deliver impact to the community.”

This story is part of a Special Report on the New General Market Purpose-Driven Summit — to read more insights, click here
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